Executive MBA


I am thinking of doing an Executive MBA part time while working but here are the few things I need to figure out:

My job will not pay for it but they are ready to give me days off for studying and exams. I could always try to change compagnies to get someone to pay for it.

The program will take me a little under 2 years to complete.

We are planning to retire in roughly 8 years… I am on the edge, thinking if it is worth it to study 2 years to work another 6 or so.

All my retirement calculations are based on my current income, even without an MBA, it’s just 8 years! (according to plan)

For the next two years, I would have to work full time and go to school every weekend. I work super close from home, school would be a 40min drive…

I have been working full time now for over 4 years, I don’t know how it will be to get back in the books.

Lots of things to think about, what do you think and what was your academic path? :smile:


Would your MBA help you change job paths or change jobs within your current company? Is there a set path to a higher income from getting your MBA?

I looked closely at doing an Executive MBA, going so far as to apply to some programs. But the feedback I got from friends in my industry that have done regular MBAs was that it is mostly for the networking. Unless they needed it to change industries, it didn’t up their pay. I spoke to some senior members at my hedge fund who said the same thing - Do it if it makes you happy, but they don’t really care about it.

Since my “retire” date was 6 years out when I was looking into it, the $80k+ investment didn’t make sense for me. I started my blog instead, figuring I could directly work doing what I was interested in (family finance education) while I waited for my retire date and potentially create a small source of side income for when I retire.


What is your motivation for getting the MBA? If you have to pay for it yourself, and you are only planning to work for eight years, I don’t see it being a good financial investment. You would probably need to work several years to break even, depending of course on how much your income increases as a result of having the MBA. I have had several friends find that the degree gave them an income boost of zero, but still it was a point of pride to have earned it.


Get a company to pay. Otherwise I wouldn’t recommend it.


If you don’t need the MBA for your career, then definitely make sure a company can pay for it.

I have an MBA. I worked full time while getting it and it took me under 2 years to get it. Also, I was single and didn’t have any kids at the time so that made it easier. By the way, my employer paid for it. It was $40,000 10 years ago.

Hope that helps. Good luck!


What are you trying to achieve by getting an MBA? If the 2 years brings down your retirement to 2 years, go for it. Else, don’t bother. Having initials after your name wouldn’t do anything. You have done well enough without it to get to a point where you are almost ready to retire, so no. Plus, company not paying for it is a downer.

What to do instead? Here are some suggestions:

  • It seems you have extra time on your hand, if yes, then use that to offer one on one coaching programs on your blog
  • Increase product offerings
  • Volunteer for JA or other educational involvements
  • If you must study, look up altMBA (I did it, and made great connections)


I went through the same thought process several years ago. I ended up not getting my MBA and it was the right decision for me. I am now retired (FIRE @48) and I do not believe my lack of an MBA has impeded me in any way. Partly because so much information is available online, I can acquire any knowledge I need on an as needed basis.

The Executive MBA at the University of Utah (UofU) which I was considering was rather expensive and would not have changed my income or career path. When I was looking at the program the cost was roughly $60,000, a quick review of their website, shows that it is now $82,000. In my situation that would have been a complete waste. That money went into my retirement and allowed me to retire early.

Near the end of my career my company began requiring a masters degree for management positions, however, those already in management were grandfathered for five years. I was in the process of downsizing my career so it made no difference to me either way. However, my co-workers began getting their masters to meet this requirement.

Many of them went to Western Governors University for their degrees. It is an online self-paced program. The quicker you finish the degree the cheaper it is and most of my coworkers completed their degrees in two terms. At a cost of $3250 per term for a total cost of less than $7k, they paid a fraction of what an executive UofU MBA would have cost, they met the company masters degree requirement and learned a lot in the process.

In summary, it comes down to your motivations and requirements. If you are simply seeking the knowledge there are cheaper options available that might meet your needs.


I have an MBA - my company paid for it, and gave me 10 day study leave each year. I worked full time while doing it. It took me 2.5 years.
I got a couple of good promotions not long after. Looking back, I think it gave me increased confidence in my own abilities, more than anything else. However, 20 years ago, when I got it, relatively few people had MBA’s. (certainly where I worked…) so there was an element of respect attached to it.
If I had a retirement horizon of 8 years, then I am not sure I would pay for it, unless you could see yourself benefiting from it post retirement. e.g. I am a (voluntary, unpaid) university governor, the MBA definitely helps me in that role. It is effectively a charity trustee / non-exec director. It has also made me more attractive for similar roles in the business sector, as I have been shoulder tapped once so far. (1-2 days a month so it fits in easily with my retirement)


Thank you for all the replies. You guys gave me a lot to think about.


@OurFinancialPath Not worth it based on the data you shared. although it really depends on the school since the value of it is so tightly linked to brand. I actually work with my of the top EMBA programs, marketing them online through my company. Feel free to shoot me a personal message - which would be an easier way to provide advice given program etc. I’ve worked with over 30 EMBA programs so know a lot about it. Happy to chat if you want.


I was looking at MBA a while ago but based on my FI timeline of about 9 years or so, I decided not to pursuit it. Based on your timeline I don’t think it’s worth it either, especially when you have to pay out of your own pocket.

Ask yourself this…

  1. Would the EMBA program increase your salary significantly?
  2. Does the increase in salary mean an increase in # of work hours and stress? Typically getting an MBA you are looking at promotions and more responsibilities
  3. Does the time you put in for the degree worth missing spending time with your family?